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Sex During Fertility Treatment – Facts & Myths

Sexual intercourse is for pleasure and reproduction but couples undergoing fertility treatment experience less interest in sex, the pleasure goes by the wayside for people struggling to conceive.

Having a Semen Analysis? Abstain for Optimal Sample

When the male partner is asked to produce a sample for a semen analysis it is recommended that the man abstain from any form of ejaculation for 2-3 days prior to analysis.

Sex During Monitored ovulation induction cycle with timed intercourse

During the treatment the female patient takes medication to induce egg formation. The cycle is monitored . Once ovulation occurs the couple is instructed to have intercourse during the most fertile day. Apart from that the couple can maintain usual frequency of intercourse during the month.

Sex during : Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

If a couple is undergoing IUI treatment. Once the follicle is ready, trigger shot is administered. IUI is usually planned 36 hrs after the trigger shot. We generally encourage couples to have intercourse during these days as they mark the period of maximum fertility.

Intercourse is also suggested the evening following the IUI. This may help increase the chances of fertilisation.

Sex during: In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Cycle

Sex during the stimulation phase of an IVF cycle is acceptable as long as the couple is using a form of barrier contraceptive. Abstinence from the day of trigger is advised in order to have better sample on the day of egg retrieval. Post egg retrieval intercourse should be avoided as there is some discomfort, mucosal barrier is disrupted hence increased risk of infection.

Sex During: Post Embryo Transfer: IVF, FET, and Donor Egg Treatment

Intercourse is discouraged following an embryo transfer during an IVF, FET, or donor egg cycle. Pelvic rest is recommended anywhere from 5-7 days after transfer since sexual activity, may effect implantation. Most IVF patients can resume normal sexual activity 1-2week after their embryo transfer.